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Study links viral infections to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

Summarised by Centrist 

A study based on around 500,000 medical records has identified strong associations between severe viral infections, such as encephalitis and pneumonia, and a heightened risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Researchers uncovered 22 connections between viral infections and various neurodegenerative conditions. Notably, individuals treated for viral encephalitis were found to be 31 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. 

Hospitalisation due to pneumonia following flu infection also increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and ALS. Viruses like varicella-zoster (causing shingles), intestinal infections, and meningitis were implicated in the development of these diseases. The study suggests that vaccination against some of these viruses could potentially reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions. While the study cannot prove causation, it adds to the growing body of research into viral infections’ potential role in neurodegenerative diseases.

Read more over at ScienceAlert

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